Cuba study abroad returns to DVC


Lenore Gallin, DVC professor of Anthropology, is organizing the trip to Cuba. (Mike Alfieri / The Inquirer)

After a six-year hiatus, DVC students can again travel to Cuba as part of study abroad tour set up by anthropology professor Dr. Lenore Gallin. She arranged five previous trips to Cuba and had recently received approval to hold the trip from Dec. 27 to Jan. 11.

The last trip to Cuba was in 2005, after which the Bush administration placed a ban on travel there. “When the US government took the license away from colleges,” Gallin said, “I added another trip just before the license expired. I took two trips that year.” The ban was lifted in January, allowing her to arrange another trip to the island.

In response to why she was holding the trip, Gallin said she felt “strongly in us living up to our ideals as a society, such as freedom of speech,…(freedom from) censorship, and free travel, (all of which) had been thwarted by the embargo and the travel ban.”

The trip will visit locales all over the island, including Che Guevara’s tomb in Santa Clara, Havana, and the “living museum” city, the UNESCO-protected Trinidad.

One of Gallin’s goals is to challenge previously held ideas about Cuba.

“The Cuban people feel a great deal of affection towards us even though our government has been rude,” said Gallin. “They treat us with such warmth, such open arms, and our people really reciprocate that.”

Student Judith Pemberton, who went on the 2004 trip, had her perceptions changed: “I thought … the people would be quietly despairing and unfriendly to the people whose leaders are responsible for the embargo that is a large cause of (their) deprivation. Instead, the people are being very creative at eking out a living and there are artists in the parks and music everywhere.”

Students interested in the trip will need to fill out an application included with a brochure on DVC’s website and file it by Nov. 27.